XERISCAPING WITH NATIVE AND ADAPTIVE PLANTS
XERISCAPING WITH NATIVE AND ADAPTIVE PLANTS
The goal of xeriscaping is to create a visually attractive landscape using various methods that minimize the need for water use in drier climates. We recommend utilizing primarily native and adaptive plants selected for water efficiency and overall lower maintenance. Properly maintained garden beds planted using the elements of xeriscaping can easily use less than one-half the water of a traditional landscape. Call now for xeriscape design and build in Austin, TX, and surrounding areas.
BE WATER WISE
A well-designed garden, utilizing the correct plant choices, and planting and care techniques will not only require less water but will also demand little or no chemicals to stay healthy. The hot, dog-days of summer present a great time to-start planning for a more efficient and water-wise landscape, one that can help protect this delicate and natural resource. Take this season to design and plan a low-maintenance, low-water-use garden that you can implement in the fall. Frequent non-essential watering for residential landscaping and gardening qualifies as luxury watering. We have the means to limit our consumption and still maintain beautiful gardens.
If you’re you fed up with mowing and irrigating your lawn, establish a water-wise landscape by limiting approximately 50% or less of your yard to turf area. Decreasing lawn areas and replacing them with well-planned perennial beds offers a practical method for increasing water conservation. At first, new perennial beds take regular maintenance because of those persistent weeds. However, with appropriate spacing and placement of plant material, your established, healthy perennials and shrubs will eventually choke out all those pesky invaders. This, in turn, will create a lower maintenance yard as well as reduce your water bill.
Mid-summer affords the best season for bed preparation. Remember, soil is the foundation for gardening success. Use a minimum of six to eight inches of nutrient rich garden soil to prep all newly designed landscape areas. This will improve plant health and increase your yard’s ability to stay healthy through dry periods.
Consider these other sound maintenance tips for your established garden areas: First, determine which plants are struggling because of too much sun. Some may be overgrown and blocking irrigation heads. List the plants that would be better off relocated to another area of your yard and plan for their transplant this fall. Second, give your existing beds fresh mulch to help them through the heat. Maintain two inches of mulch in your beds to combat weeds, keep soil cool and moist and give your yard a fresh look. Lastly, grouping plants with similar watering needs and establishing an efficient irrigation system to zone your yard appropriately will help save you money in the long run, not to mention our precious resource.
TEXAS NATIVE PLANTS – DROUGHT TOLERANT LANDSCAPING
Clump Grass for Central Texas Landscapes
Ornamental clump grasses make beautiful accent plantings throughout garden beds. These underutilized plants are drought tolerant once established and are virtually disease free. If high maintenance shrubs are an issue in your home garden beds because of constant pruning requirements, fertilizer needs and insect and pathogen problems, why not experiment with a few native, ornamental grass species. They take very little effort to keep maintained and looking spectacular in the landscape. It is even recommended to not cut back clump grasses until right before they start to put on new green growth in the spring. It’s a personal preference, but some find the browning foliage in the winter keeps the spaces filled in the garden and is a nice complement to the evergreen shrubs.
In addition to the practical benefits that ornamental grasses offer, there are also aesthetic benefits as well. Not only is their soft, elegant clumping and weeping foliage striking as they blow in the wind, grasses also put off seasonal color that can be very bright and showy, especially when clumped together in large masses. Their fine textures provide for a great contrast amongst other various broader leaved perennials and shrubs. Some species can even exceed the height of privacy fences to create more height as a back drop in garden beds or even aid in creating vegetative screens. Their seedlings are also a great addition to your garden to feed wildlife, but need not worry; most ornamental grasses aren’t attractive to deer.
A few of my favorite clump grass varieties for full sun locations are the Muhly grasses, specifically Gulf Coast Muhly, Big Muhly and Bamboo Muhly, Fountain grasses, Mexican Feather grass, and Maiden Hair grass. For a shady location, Inland Sea Oats is a great selection for a fast-establishing native clump grass. For Texas native plant installation and maintenance in Austion, call your trusted professionals at Ol' Yeller Landscaping Inc.